Saturday, October 6, 2012

Celebrating "Not Dead Day"

Today is my day for reflection about the gift of life.  31 years ago today while newly pregnant with son #1 we (unborn "he" and I) were in a horrific auto accident.  We have both lived to tell the tale despite my serious injuries and his precarious reliance on my well being. But each year the anniversary of that day is very sobering.  Son #1 named it "not dead day" and we usually exchange text messages or emails in a sort of virtual "high five".  I was 24 years old at the time, newly graduated from college and working my first job.  I had longed to be a mother and was thrilled to be pregnant.  In short,   I felt like my life was getting underway.  Oddly, at that time in my life I didn't expect to live long.  I was well acquainted with the passing of various aunts, uncles and more distant relations.  In addition to the relatives I didn't know well, my nephew died when I was only six and he was 3 years old  and my father passed away when I was 19.  So all in all I grew up feeling that life was short - especially in my family.  And if you had asked me about longevity then I would have told you that I didn't want to live long in part because it was so hard to see others go before you and to miss them so much (I know, this is sort of a depressing post, but I don't mean it to be that way.  It's just a very sobering topic, I guess) But here's the strange thing.  The older I get, the more that I realize that I would be glad for a long life.  In fact if you could buy a ticket for life to 100 years old with a guarantee of a modest amount of well being, I would be the first in line.  I think being retired is responsible for much of this attitude change.  This might be the most stressfree time in my entire life.  My responsibilities are minimal and I am free to pretty much do as I please more or less. And despite the sadness of saying good bye to those we love, there is so much still to enjoy - places to go, people to see, things to do....and, of course, quilting!

So, I raise a glass to "Not Dead Day" and all those who played a part in our survival.  I'm thankful for the many many experiences, aquaintances and accomplishments that surviving that day has allowed me to experience.  I'm glad for the perspective that it has provided for the rest of my years and I pray for the opportunity to celebrate many, many more "Not Dead Day"s in the years to come.

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